ACTA is a proposal for an ‘anti-counterfeiting’ agreement, being negotiated by a small number of mostly developed countries, outside any of the established institutions (WIPO, World Customs Organisation, WTO). While ostensibly dealing with counterfeiting (you know, of the evil exploding mobile phones and airplane parts kind), because it deals with IP enforcement it has the potential to balloon in scope and its implications for ordinary people (you know, those of us who are not evil-organised-crime-counterfeiters). Mission creep: ever the bane of IP treaty negotiations.

Anyway, there is some potential for concern about the negotiations, particularly if it starts (a) upping the enforcement for patents, (b) dealing with online enforcement beyond existing standards that we already have in Australia. If you are interested, some more sources have become available for further information on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations:

  1. Susan Sell, US academic, has a paper which contextualises the ACTA negotiations available here (note: pdf file);
  2. I’ve put together a paper outlining what I could about what was known of the ACTA negotiations, and also highlighting some legal issues that might arise for countries like Australia; it’s available from my bepress site, here.

More info as it comes to hand.